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For some United flyers, upgrade certificates are going to become a bit tougher to come by.

Next year, the airline’s raising the requirements to earn Premier 1K status, while also capping the number of Regional Premier Upgrades (RPUs) members can earn. While many customers surely aren’t happy about that upcoming change, the airline’s at least decided to continue one flyer-friendly upgrade tradition, hopefully for years to come.

I’m talking about extending the expiration date of Global Premier Upgrades (GPUs) — any earned from flying in 2017 are set to expire on January 31, 2019. Assuming you’ve already requalified for Premier 1K or Global Services status, United is once again offering to extend the expiration of two GPUs to April 30, 2019, giving members an extra three months to use them up.

As in past years, the following restrictions apply:

  • You must have already requalified for Premier 1K or Global Services status for the 2019 program year.
  • You must call the MileagePlus Service Center at 800-421-4655 to request the extension.
  • You can extend a maximum of two GPUs — regional certificates may not be extended.

Note that the only way to extend these upgrades is by calling the number above, and the process can be quite lengthy, depending on the agent you get — extending my own upgrades took 20 minutes today, though most of that time was spend on hold, as the agent worked to process the extension.

Assuming you still expect to have two GPUs left over when the clock strikes midnight on January 31, 2019, it’s certainly worth the effort to call and get them extended through April.

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